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Mastering the messy mudroom!

The Mud room has come along way over the years where it was once a room that received no attention, let alone design attention! Nowadays with busy families and multiple sporting goods, seasonal clothing and matching shoes, there is no question that the mudroom or the space assigned to deal with this day to day chaos has become essential.

A mudroom’s main purpose

For some homes, the mudroom is a designated space often combined with the laundry and off the garage. For condo dwellers, like myself, such a large space sounds luxurious as we struggle to ‎cram it all into a front entry closet.

If you have the space and budget, separating the laundry and mud rooms creates overall better management of two different functions. This has become a desirable trend that is gaining strength in newly built houses throughout the GTA.

But, for most of us, it’s managing what we’ve got in a space that is definitely too small. ‎Here are some tips to get this important room under control:

  1. Add hooks to ‎any open wall or the back of doors. This provides hanging space to get coats, purses and kids’ knapsacks off the floor. Pick sturdy and large hooks that can withstand the potential weight.
  2. Add extra shelves where possible, even up high. They may not be usable on a daily basis, but they can store overflow. Make sure to buy shelves with support brackets for strength.
  3. Include small separate clear bins for receipts‎ and change. This is the room where pockets can get emptied, so create a place to catch it all and sort it later.  You can also add mason jars of varying sizes to empty pockets into when doing laundry.  This is a great idea as every person in the family can get their own jar.  This looks especially trendy with chalkboard labels on them to identify who they belong to.
  4. Invest in a closet organisational system. ‎Most closets have hanging ability and little else but there are numerous companies like Organized Interiors that can add shelves, hanging, shoe storage, cubbies, drawers etc to a closet interior. This can significantly improve the use of the mudroom. Also Ikea and Canadian Tire sell DIY systems that can outfit a closet in a day. While you are emptying the closet, use this opportunity remove the of out-of-season clothes and other seasonal items.  If they are not being used, they do not need to be in there.  Space Bags are great for this as you can pack them full and then vacuum the air out and store them away until they are needed again.
  5. If you have room to add a bench, make sure it also has storage! Nothing in this area or room should be without purpose. You can purchase great benches that open up for storage or have storage in the form of bins below.
  6. Incorporate baskets if you lack drawer storage. As it gets colder, gloves, hats, mits and general winter wear needs to be kept somewhere. Organize baskets to hold all hats or all gloves, or give each kid their own basket.  If this is hopeful thinking, simply ‎having a basket to contain small loose items can be helpful.

And once a year when you can, take out a spare hour purge the room. This is the space where things easily accumulate so be ruthless as it’s only a matter of time before a new bunch of items slip back into the mud room to create a new round of chaos!

set up


Do you want to transform your laundry room into a mudroom that provides your family with the functionality you need? Consider hiring an interior design specialist to visit your home and incorporate these intricate designs/ideas into your home.

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About the Author: Jane Lockhart is the founder and principal designer at Jane Lockhart Interior Design. She shares her tips and inspiration with the Toronto Sun.

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